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Wettest December on record for Cumbria

The Met Office have today confirmed that this December has been the wettest on record for Cumbria since records began in 1910.

In addition to Cumbria’s existing flood defences, the Environment Agency has transported over two kilometres of temporary flood barriers and more than 20 extra pumps to the north of England.

Four of these are high volume pumps capable of moving 1,000 litres of water per second (one metric tonne, or 219 gallons of water per second).

The Environment Agency is also checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses and monitoring water levels. It will issue flood warnings where necessary.

Since the 1st of December, many areas in Cumbria have experienced more than two and a half times their expected monthly rainfall. The wettest December on record for Cumbria follows the county’s second wettest November on record.

  • At Keswick, 472mm of rain have fallen since December 1st, the long term monthly average for December is 173mm.
  • At Shap, 677mm has fallen compared with its long term monthly average for December of 215.6mm.
  • On Saturday December 5th, 341mm of rain fell in 24 hours at Honister Pass.

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Our region prepares for flooding

Our region is preparing itself for flooding as a month's worth of rainfall is expected to over the weekend.

There is an amber warning issued for the Border area as the remnants of tropical hurricane Kate hit is due to hit our region this afternoon.

Eight inches of rain is due to fall on Cumbria over the next 24 hours causing rivers and streams to overflow their banks as many areas of ground are already saturated.

The Environment Agency in England has one flood warning in place at Keswick Campsite where flooding is expected and two flood alerts for the Upper River Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck, Derwent Water; and the Rivers Brathay, Rothay and Winster.

In Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued a general flood alert for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

The Environment Agency in England has brought two 24-foot long, high-volume flood water pumps from their depot in the South West.

They are capable of pumping 120,000 litres of flood water per minute.

Environment Agency teams are today continuing to check flood defences as well as clearing blockages in watercourses, and preparing some temporary defences.

They have issued the following advice to people who may feel at risk:

* Checking on vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours * Installing flood protection measures to property if you have them * Rolling up carpets, removing curtains, moving valuables and electrical items upstairs or to higher ground * Placing important documents, such as insurance information and passports, in waterproof bags * Making sure you know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies

More information is available on their website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

and in Scotland it's: http://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/water/flooding/

River levels across northern England are already high and are expected to rise with this further heavy rainfall, bringing with them a significant risk of flooding. We are working closely with the emergency services and partners to prepare ahead of the weekend.

– Craig Woolhouse, Environment Agency Director of Incident Management

Photos: thousands of fish killed in slurry leak

Thousands of fish have died after a serious pollution leak in Cumbria.

A team of Environment Agency officers are currently tackling the problem, at Skitwath and Dacre Becks, near Penruddock.

A pollution leak killed thousands of fish. Credit: ITV Border
Many were left floating in the discoloured water. Credit: ITV Border
Environment Agency officers are still at the scene. Credit: ITV Border
It happened at Skitwath and Dacre Becks, near Penruddock Credit: ITV Border

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Investigation into slurry leak after thousands of fish die

Thousands of fish, including salmon, died. Credit: PA

An investigation into a slurry leak, which killed thousands of fish in the Penruddock area on the fringes of the Lake District, is continuing.

Members of the public reported brown water, and dead fish floating on the surface, at at Skitwath and Dacre Becks.

Environment Agency officers were sent to contain the leak, which was found to have been slurry.

Thousands of fish, including trout and salmon, died, and officers remain in the area investigating.

WATCH: Teaching youngsters to fish

Cumbrian youngsters are being taught the joys of angling as part of an initiative to promote National Fishing Month.

A hundred and fifty pupils from five schools have been involved so far. As well as learning how to fly fish, they are being shown how to do it safely and legally. Kim Inglis went to see a group from Keswick in action.

Scheme to get youngsters hooked on fishing

Youngsters are being taught the joys of angling as part of an initiative to promote National Fishing Month.

Around 150 Cumbrian school children have been involved so far. As well as learning how to fly fish, they are learning about the environment and how important it is to preserve the region's waterways.

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